Organic Consumers Association

NEW DEADLINE JANUARY 30: Tell the USDA You Don’t Want a GMO Apple!

No GMO Apples!The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is poised to approve the first genetically engineered apple. The "Arctic Apple®” is engineered for the purely cosmetic purpose of preventing browning after it’s been sliced. Scientists say the technology used to create this new frankenapple is untested and inherently risky.

Unless the USDA heeds consumers, environmentalists and apple growers who are speaking out against deregulation of the Arctic Apple, the first GMO apple could soon turn up in fast-food restaurants, school cafeterias—even baby food. With no labels to warn consumers.

The Arctic Apple poses a risk to human health, a risk to the environment and a risk to conventional and non-organic apple growers.

Please sign the petition below: Tell the USDA to reject biotech’s non-browning Frankenapple! 

1-25 of 119094 signatures
Number Date Name Location
119094 7 hours ago Barbara Chan Edmonton, AB
119093 23 hours ago Elizabeth Patten Chichester, NH
119092 1 day ago Carlos Echevarria Inglewood, CA
119091 1 day ago Carlos Echevarria Inglewood, CA
119090 2 days ago Anonymous Lindenhurst, NY Apples used to be healthy! Bring natural back!
119089 4 days ago Talise Magallon Downey, CA
119088 4 days ago Elaine Fredrick New Brighton, MN
119087 4 days ago Kim Herman Sugar Land, TX
119086 4 days ago gloria watson Jacksonville, FL
119085 4 days ago Maria Elena Pimentel middleburg, FL
119084 5 days ago John Lucas Allentown, PA
119083 5 days ago Joleen Santos Allentown, PA
119082 6 days ago Heidi Jamititus SLC, UT
119081 6 days ago Anonymous yorktown, VA
119080 1 week ago Gabrielle Bronx CA The FDA is demonic, i don't mind my apples going brown! Just put lemon on it and BAM, it doesn't turn brown! I don't need a GMO apple, i need lemon juice!
119079 1 week ago Sue Azizi Chandler, AZ
119078 1 week ago Nasreen Ali Jacksonville, FL
119077 1 week ago Natasha Brant El Mirage, AZ
119076 1 week ago JD Mateja San Francisco, CA
119075 1 week ago Katarina Schulze Mount Prospect, IL
119074 1 week ago Anonymous IL
119073 1 week ago Anonymous Norborne, MO
119072 1 week ago Kelli Vogltance Rehoboth, MA
119071 1 week ago Jim Phillips Sonoma, CA USDA: Reject biotech’s non-browning Frankenapple!
119070 1 week ago Anonymous Plano, IL
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Most existing genetically engineered plants are designed to make new proteins. But the Arctic Apple is engineered to produce a form of genetic information called double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The new dsRNA alters the way genes are expressed. The result, in the Arctic Apple’s case, is a new double strand of RNA that genetically “silences” the apple’s ability to produce polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme that causes the apple to turn brown when it’s exposed to oxygen.

Harmless? Not according to many scientists, including Professor Jack Heinemann (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Sarah Agapito-Tenfen (from Santa Catarina University in Brazil) and Judy Carman (Flinders University in South Australia). They say that dsRNA manipulation is untested, and therefore inherently risky. According to these and other scientists, given that the dsRNA from our food, and presumably the Frankenapple, will enter the bloodstream and cells of consumers, safety research should be done before this GMO apple is put on the grocery shelf in order to prove that the dsRNA that enters consumers' bodies will not harm them. To date, no such research has been reported.

Frankenapple also poses a contamination risk. The U.S. Apple Association (which represents most commercial apple growers), the Northwest Horticultural Council (which represents Washington apple growers who grow over 60 percent of the apples in the U.S. and more than 80 percent of the U.S.-certified organic apples), and the British Columbia Fruit Growers Association oppose deregulation of the Arctic Apple citing fears of crop contamination. If buyers suspect conventional and organic apple crops have been contaminated, growers say the market will reject them resulting in lost export revenue.

And then there’s the pesticide problem. Non-organic apples already top the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, for both the volume and the stunning array of pesticides consistently found on them. 

But the frankenapple poses an additional risk. Here’s why. The chemical compound that is shut off in the GMO apple, in order to prevent browning, also fights off plant pests. What happens when the apple’s ability to fend off insects is compromised? Growers will likely need to spray greater amounts of possibly even more toxic pesticides. 

According to the Pesticide Action Network’s analysis of the most recent USDA data, apples tested positive for 42 pesticides, including organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides. Both are endocrine disruptors, both have suspected neurological effects, and both are considered especially toxic for children.